How to Wire an Electric Dryer Outlet

laundry room with a washing machine
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Dryer Outlets - How to Strip the Wire

Cutting Outer Sheath of Wire
The Spruce / Timothy Thiele

Stripping the sheathing off of wire is fairly easy when you use a Romex sheath cutting tool or a razor knife. When using a razor knife, carefully score the wire between the conductors of wire.

Be careful not to nick the insulation of the wires when cutting. Use side-cutting pliers to trim the excess sheathing from the wire. Remove the paper filler between the wires. This leaves the wires exposed and ready for use.

Stripping Individual Wire Conductors

Stripping Wire Insulation
The Spruce / Timothy Thiele

In order to strip conductor insulation, you'll need a pair of wire strippers. The strippers have many sized cutting blades for many different sized wires. Select the properly sized cutter hole for the size wire you are working with. Position the strippers over the wire and squeeze the handles. Twist the strippers slightly back and forth to loosen the insulation.

Pull away from you and the piece of insulation that you are cutting should slide right off. Now do the remaining wires. Never pull the wire strippers toward your body. You could injure yourself easily if they slip off the wire. The same goes for using a razor knife. Always push the blade away from your body. These simple safety measures will help to keep you from injury.

How to Connect the Wires to the Terminals

In order to connect wires to the terminals on the dryer receptacle, unscrew the screws on the terminal connections. Insert the stripped wires into the terminal slots and tighten the screw snugly. Tug on the wire to be sure the connections are tight. The brass-colored terminals are for the "hot" wires.

These are the top two terminals of the receptacle: The black wire connects to the left terminal, and the red wire connects to the right terminal. The silver-colored terminal is for the neutral or neutral/ground connection. The white wire connects to this terminal.

The wires should be stripped sufficiently to ensure there is bare wire, without insulation, under each of the connections points. Be sure not to have excess bare wire under these connection points that could be a hazard or a point to short out the connection

How to Attach the Wire Clamp

Install a Wire Clamp
The Spruce / Timothy Thiele

In order to attach the wire clamp to an electric range receptacle, insert half of the clamp into the receptacle box hole. This part of the clamp will be the one with the smaller holes. Place it on the bottom of the wire. Now, install the other half of the clamp into the hole on the top side of the wire.

Using pump pliers, squeeze the two halves together and install the two Phillips-head screws. Tighten the connection snugly and then tug at the wire to be sure that the wire is secure. Be sure that there are no nicks in the wire coatings or exposed wires within the clamp itself. Be careful not to pinch any of the wires while tightening the clamp. A safe and secure wire connection will last a lifetime.​

How to Install a Dryer Outlet Cover Plate

To install a dryer outlet cover plate, slide the cover over the outlet and press into place. Insert the retaining screw and tighten with a straight-blade screwdriver. Do not over-tighten because the cover may break.

We like to turn the screws all the same in an up-and-down position so they all look the same. Be sure to plumb the cover plate so we have a quality installation and not a crooked plate. 

How to Test a Dryer Outlet

Test a Dryer Outlet
The Spruce / Timothy Thiele

After making the installation, you can test a dryer outlet by using a multimeter. Go to the circuit breaker or fuse panel and turn on the circuit to the dryer outlet. You'll want to get your electrical tester out of your toolbox to check the outlet. You may have a voltage tester as well, which works wonderfully. 

Insert the two test leads into the tester if they aren't already installed. Turn the tester power on and set the selector to AC volts. Now adjust the setting to the 240-volt setting or the next highest setting. Insert the test leads into the two top "hot" slots in the ​receptacle. These are the two slots that are tipped at a 45-degree angle.

The voltage at this point should read between 220-240 volts. Now read the voltage between each of the two hot leads to the neutral slot. It is the straight slot below the two "hot" slots. The voltage here should read between 110-120 volts.

If all of these connections check out, you have a fully functioning dryer outlet. Congratulations in easily installing a dryer outlet.